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Bibendum showcases latest clean vehicle technologies

Several organizations showcased advanced technology heavy duty vehicles at the 2003 Challenge Bibendum in Sonoma and San Francisco, Calif., this September.Their production and concept vehicles highlig...

Several organizations showcased advanced technology heavy duty vehicles at the 2003 Challenge Bibendum in Sonoma and San Francisco, Calif., this September.

Their production and concept vehicles highlighted the advancements made in technologies for commercial trucks and buses.

“The trucking industry has made significant progress towards more efficient, cleaner running vehicles for a variety of commercial applications,” said Marc Laferriere, vice president of marketing, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “Challenge Bibendum is an excellent forum to highlight the advancements in the industry and the wide range of technical solutions available.”

Challenge Bibendum, considered one of the premier global events for advanced technology vehicles, was established by the Michelin Group as an objective way to bring together and test the best available technologies for environmentally positive vehicles. The annual event features vehicles from major manufacturers on three continents and brings together all partners in the automotive world: vehicle manufacturers, designers, energy suppliers, technical leaders, policy makers, universities and government organizations. Complete information is available at

Heavy-duty vehicles participating in the 2003 Challenge Bibendum included:

Volvo Truck: A VN day cab equipped with exhaust after treatment to reduce NOx and particulate emissions. This system uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) with urea injection, a diesel particulate filter, and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. This VN operates in day-to-day service for a Volvo Trucks customer in a test fleet to investigate potential technologies to meet upcoming U.S. federal emissions standards for heavy-duty diesel engines.

The VN780 Tech Truck, is a technology demonstrator with numerous systems to reduce fuel consumption, improve vehicle efficiency and provide long-haul drivers with a more comfortable working environment. A primary goal of the Tech Truck is to showcase technologies that reduce fuel consumption.

Freightliner: The OEM showcased two vehicles. The featured vehicle was the Freightliner Safety-Environment-Technology (SET) Demonstration Vehicle. The SET Vehicle includes numerous advanced systems designed to enhance safety, reduce environmental impact and increase productivity. It features a fuel cell auxiliary power unit, which proved itself in an overnight idling competition, earning a B rating. The systems are installed on a Freightliner Class 8 Century Class S/T tractor.

A second vehicle, also a Century Class S/T heavy-duty truck, was used to demonstrate a Roll Advisor & Control system designed to avoid instances of truck rollover; Lane Guidance, a lane departure warning system; the Eaton Vorad EVT-300 collision warning system and other advanced safety technologies.

Eaton: The transmission manufacturer showed off a pick-up and delivery truck with a hybrid electric engine. The diesel-electric parallel power system employs highly advanced electric motor drives, inverters, energy storage devices and advanced power management control, along with proven automated transmission and clutch technology from Eaton’s core truck components business.

EPA: The U.S. government agency showcased a Ford F550 diesel/electric hybrid prototype. This parallel hydraulic hybrid vehicle delivers energy to the drive axle with the ICE engine and hydraulic motors. During braking, the vehicle’s kinetic energy is absorbed by the hydraulic system and stored in hydraulic accumulators. This energy is then used to launch the vehicle during its next acceleration. EPA and Eaton reps both said the hybrid technology is especially suited to applications such as dump and refuse trucks, where starting and stopping is frequent, thereby using the energy storage capacity of the hybrid technology to its fullest extent.

Isuzu Truck: Isuzu introduced an industry-first, single-fuel, direct-injection, diesel-cycle CNG truck prototype – the Elf CNG-DI. Rated at 14,076 lbs., the Elf CNG-DI is powered by a 4.5 liter in-line 4 engine equipped with a Westport injection system, turbocharger and intercooler, along with the SCR and urea injection systems most appropriate to the CNG fuel.

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